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Tag: Chris Lytle

Ben vs. Ben: The UFC 86 Argument, July 4th Edition

(Can I get a USA chant?)

With Independence Day upon us and UFC 86 just one day away, what better way to celebrate both occasions than by arguing over every insignificant detail of the weekend to come. That’s what we do best, after all, which may mean only that we do everything else exceptionally poorly.

Don’t forget to check out our UFC 86 Liveblog tomorrow night where you can get in on the heated bickering — and in real time!

Who’s next in line for a shot at the UFC light heavyweight title after Jackson-Griffin?

Fowlkes: As always in the UFC, who’s next depends on who wins. If Jackson wins, which is the more likely outcome, then the UFC is faced with two distinct possibilities, both of them involving rematches.

Chuck Liddell probably only needs to beat Rashad Evans to be back at the top of the list. That’s not necessarily because a win over “Sugar” Rashad is so impressive, but because the UFC knows they could get big money for Jackson-Liddell III.

The same is true regarding Wanderlei Silva. He needs at least one more win and even then it would be just barely credible to put him in a title fight with “Rampage”, but barely credible is more than enough for the UFC.

If Griffin wins, however, all bets are off. Anyone with anything resembling a winning streak is a candidate, except maybe Lyoto Machida. An immediate rematch with Jackson wouldn’t be out of the question, nor would a Griffin-Liddell scenario. Either way, Liddell should be the odds-on favorite to get the next shot, provided he doesn’t get lay-and-prayed to death by Evans.

Goldstein: Dude? Silva destroyed Rampage twice in PRIDE, which makes him a whole lot more than “barely credible,” no matter what he’s accomplished in the UFC so far. Sure, Wandy would probably need another win just to keep up appearances, but Jackson vs. Silva is the match that needs to happen for Rampage’s title reign to have true legitimacy. And if the UFC felt like playing up their history, they could surely convince the casual Chuck-hugging fans that Silva deserves it more.


Exclusive Interview: Josh Koscheck

Josh Koscheck Mar Clothing UFC MMA
(Kos, rockin’ the “Skullburst Burnout.”)

Josh Koscheck has been one of the UFC’s most prominent figures since the first season of The Ultimate Fighter, where he beat Chris Leben but was defeated by the show’s eventual middleweight winner, Diego Sanchez. After leaving the show, he became a mainstay in the UFC’s welterweight division, using his background as a Division I college wrestling champion to knock off guys like Dave Menne, Jonathan Goulet, and Sanchez in a hotly anticipated rematch. Though he seemed like an imminent contender for the 170-pound belt, a frustrating decision loss against Georges St. Pierre at UFC 74 sent him to the back of the line. On Saturday he continues his quest for re-ascension, taking on TUF 4 finalist Chris Lytle. We caught up to Josh after one of his final training sessions in preparation for UFC 86, and shot the shit about fighter pay, “The Nightmare,” and his secret life as a t-shirt mogul.

*** Not to take anything away from Chris Lytle, but he has a losing record in the UFC. Do you feel like you should be fighting a higher-ranked welterweight at this point?
Josh Koscheck: No. After my loss to Georges St. Pierre I have to work my way back up through the ranks. In order to be the #1 contender you have to beat whoever they put in front of you, and that’s my plan.

What part of Lytle’s game are you most concerned about?
I don’t really know too much about him, I just know he’s pretty good on his feet and he’s got pretty good jiu-jitsu. My concerns are myself — coming in prepared, which I definitely am, and taking the opportunity to get the job done.

This is the first fight on your new UFC contract extension. Would you say you’re getting paid what you deserve now?
I don’t know that answer; that’s up to my managers. My job is to train and fight. My managers got me the contract so I guess that’s what I deserve right now. Obviously, it’s human nature to want more money. You probably want more money to interview me today. But it’s just a matter of time. Yeah, UFC fighters deserve a lot more money, and it’s coming. The sport’s growing, and as the UFC brand grows, the fighters will make more money.

Do you have any interest in fighting Diego Sanchez again? Your last fight with him was called into question because he was supposedly suffering from a staph infection at the time. Do you feel the need to prove it was a legitimate win?


Chris Lytle Fights Fires, Bas Rutten Cranks Necks

A funny thing happened while Ariel Helwani and I were interviewing Chris Lytle about his upcoming bout with Josh Koscheck at UFC 86. Lytle was at the firehouse, where he works as — surprise — a fireman, and in the middle of the interview he calmly explained that he had to go because there was a fire that needed fighting. As interviews go, that was a first. He came back later and explained what had happened, and also explained what it’s like to be fighting fires just a few days before fighting for the UFC. If that kind of thing interests you, head over to MMA Rated to listen to the radio show. The Lytle interview starts at around the thirty-five minute mark. Yeah, it’s basically a half-hour of us arguing over stuff up until then. That’s what happens when you don’t have a real job.

If that kind of thing doesn’t interest you, then maybe this will. Bas Rutten appeared on ESPN’s “MMA Live” to demonstrate the aptly-named “Exorcist” neck crank. It looks…unpleasant.


Video: Matt Serra vs. Chris Lytle

Here’s a fun fact: Matt Serra’s Ultimate Fighter 4 Finale match against Chris Lytle (11/11/06) was his sixth-consecutive pro fight to end in a decision. “The Terror” went 3-3 during that stretch, suffering notable losses to B.J. Penn and Karo Parisyan, but turned his career around by edging out Lytle in a split decision — in which two of the judges scored it 30-27 for Serra and the other scored it an equally plausible 30-27 for Lytle — and earning his title shot.


Koscheck to Face Lytle, Mir to Face McCully, Xyience to Face Angry Creditors

(Frank Mir poses in front of the world’s ugliest ring girls.)

Some UFC-related notes as we build up to tonight’s four-hour block of awesomeness…

— Josh Koscheck, who recently signed a new multi-fight contract with the UFC, confirmed yesterday that he will be facing Chris Lytle at UFC 86 (July 5th, Las Vegas). “Lights Out” Lytle (25-15-5, 4-7 UFC) has lost to a who’s who of welterweight stars during his time in the Octagon — Matt Hughes, Matt Serra, Robbie Lawler, and Karo Parisyan among them — but may be on the comeback trail after beating the dogshit out of Kyle Bradley at UFC 81.

— Frank Mir and Justin McCully have also been booked for a bout at UFC 86. With the heavyweight class as thin as it is right now, we wouldn’t put it past the UFC to offer Mir an immediate title shot depending on his performance in July; his disposal of Brock Lesnar at “Breaking Point” proved that he could still be a viable contender. McCully won a decision against Antoni Hardonk during his UFC debut last April, and has won his last four fights overall, but the matchup still feels like it’s intended to be a tuneup for the former champion.

— Xyience Inc. was sold yesterday to Manchester Consolidated Corp. for $15 million. According to the Las Vegas Review Journal:

The sale price will cover only part of the secured debt at Xyience, debtor attorney Laurel Davis said after the hearing. As a result, unsecured creditors and stockholders in Xyience will recover none of their money, she said…

Manchester, which submitted the only approved bid, will pay $200,000 in cash and will assume $14.8 million in debt…

Separately, unsecured creditors on Monday filed a lawsuit in federal court, saying the judge should take $14.8 million in assets from the Fertittas for the benefit of Xyience creditors.

In related news, that hot brunette from the Xyience commercials has been spotted wearing a barrel held up by suspenders. Okay, not really, but it’s an amusing image!


Fights of the Day #2+3: UFC 81 Knockout and Submission of the Night

If you missed our UFC 81 liveblog, click here. Check out the videos below for Chris Lytle’s nitro-burnin’ bash-fest against Kyle Bradley, and Ricardo Almeida choking out Rob Yundt despite being dropped directly on his head.

Chris Lytle vs. Kyle Bradley:

Ricardo Almeida vs. Rob Yundt:


UFC 81 Bonuses: Men Predict, and God Laughs


We like to think that the only losers in life are the people who never try. So basically, we still feel like we’re big winners despite the fact that nearly everything we claimed in our UFC 81 bonus predictions post turned out to be completely untrue. Let’s take a look at those bonuses, which were reported last night:

We said: They’d be $40,000 apiece.
What really happened: They were a record-setting $60,000 apiece. Maybe that was done to shut up all the critics who questioned the UFC’s profitability after UFC 80′s weak bonuses were doled out. Maybe the bonus amounts are determined based on geographical proximity to Las Vegas. Who freakin’ knows.

Knockout of the Night
We said: Terry Martin, or possibly Kyle Bradley.
What really happened: Kyle Bradley got annihilated in just 33 seconds by a demonically possessed Chris Lytle, who earned the K.O. bonus; Lytle’s new kamikaze style produced one of the most thrilling moments of the night, and we hope to see more of it in the future. As for Terry Martin, he lost a unanimous decision to Marvin Eastman in “Breaking Point”‘s only untelevised match. We predicted the fight would be wild and exciting; it was not.

Submission of the Night
We said: Ricardo Almeida
What really happened: Almeida did indeed submit Rob Yundt (finally, we catch a break), but Frank Mir’s leglock of Brock Lesnar was far more dramatic, and Mir picked up the 60 grand. The bonus brought Mir’s payday to a total of $140,000 when added to his $40k to-show purse and $40k win bonus.

Fight of the Night
We said: Gleison Tibau vs. Tyson Griffin, or possibly Lesnar vs. Mir.
What really happened: Three-round war? More like three-round snore. (See what we did there?) Tyson Griffin showcased his inability to finish a fight during his unanimous decision victory over Tibau, and the crowd let him know that they were not entertained. We thought Tim Sylvia and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira would hug for five rounds, but Minotauro’s incredible comeback victory in the third was enough to score both men the $60,000 Fight of the Night bonus. Since his guaranteed fight payout is $100,000, Tim Sylvia took home $160,000 after UFC 81, edging out Frank Mir by 20 large — for losing. See, we told you these figures never make sense…